Thursday, March 30, 2017

Responsible Growth

There is much argument over nimbism, good, bad, and indifferent. We're not the only community that is dealing with these issues. With a few exceptions this dissertation could be describing Pacifica.

Submitted by
Jim Wagner

No Planning Commission meeting Monday, April 3, 2017

Image result for April fool picture
Close enough, take the evening off.

City of Pacifica Notice. The regular Planning Commission of Monday, April 3, 2017 is cancelled, and was never scheduled. 

There must be something else you can do Monday night. This cancelled meeting is FACT, and no April fools joke. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Proposed: major road-repair bill, California

The Mercury News/California/Kathy Murphy, 3/29/17. "Pothole relief? California lawmakers reach deal to pay for road fixes."

Image result for Potholes picture
 Could be Linda Mar Boulevard
east, ... on a really a bad day.
Image result for Potholes picture
Good news, help to fix potholes is on it's
way.  Bad news, it's going to cost plenty.
....  The unveiling of the agreement — to raise $5 billion annually through a 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase plus new vehicle registration fees — follows years of debate over how to pay to fix the ever-growing number of chewed-up streets and crumbling bridges. The cost of repairs has ballooned to $59 billion for state highways and $78 billion for local roads, estimates Sen. Jim Beall — a San Jose Democrat who is carrying a bill to raise $5.6 billion per year for road fixes.
.... ... If it passes, California will join a growing number of states, including Colorado, Washington and Virginia, that have levied fees on electric cars. That fee wouldn’t kick in until 2020. California has not raised its gas tax in 23 years, according to the governor’s office, and proponents say the shortfall is obvious to anyone who drives in the state.
The state administration and the Legislature have set a deadline of April 6 for approving the transportation deal, before the Legislature adjourns for a week-long spring recess — and before state budget negotiations consume the Capitol. Assemblyman Beall said it will be heard by the Senate Appropriations committee on Monday (4/3/17).Read article. 

Reference.  Bottom of the above article, from Governor Brown's Office:

HOW THE MONEY WOULD BE RAISED $24.4 billion by increasing gasoline excise tax 12 cents
$200 million from an annual $100 “zero emisson vehicle fee” beginning in 2020
$7.3 billion by increasing diesel excise tax by 20 cents
$3.5 billion by increasing diesel sales tax to 5.75 percent
$16.3 billion from an annual “transportation improvement fee” based on a vehicle’s value
$706 million in General Fund loan repayments.

$15 billion in “Fix-It-First” local road repairs such as fixing potholes
$7.5 billion to improve local public transportation
$2 billion to support local “self-help” communities that are making their own investments in transportation improvements
$1 billion to improve infrastructure that promotes walking and bicycling
$825 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program local contribution
$250 million in local transportation planning grants

$15 billion in “Fix-it-First” highway repairs, including smoother pavement
$4 billion in bridge and culvert repairs
$3 billion to improve trade corridors
$2.5 billion to reduce congestion on major commute corridors
$1.4 billion in other transportation investments, including $275 million for highway and intercity-transit improvements.

Related, City.  City of Pacifica/Public Works/streets division/potholes.  Article, Bay Area. The Mercury News/Transportation/Gary Richards, 1/24/17, "Bay Area rains bring a bumper crop of BIG potholes." "The Bay Area’s long drought is thankfully over, but now a suspension-rattling pain has arrived in full force — hundreds, perhaps thousands of potholes after weeks of almost constant downpours. Officials say this could be an unprecedented worsening of the already-crumbling roadways. And unlucky drivers could pay a jolting price."     Note photographs.  Potholes:  wheel by Nick De La Torre from  Houston Chronicle/Jessica Hamilton, 1/19/16,"Houston's most pothole-ridden street";  road by Alamy from Daily Mail/Ray Massey, Transportation Editor, 3/29/17, "...appalling state of Britain's roads.." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Highway 1 widening plan: never

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, Staff Writer, 3/22/17.  "City bans new highway lanes. Ordinance forbids Highway 1 widening without voter approval."

Image result for Highway traffic jam, Pacifica, CA picture
Commute home: Congested, not safe, could have been fixed.
Thanks again for nothing, NIMBY majority City Council.
Don't be fooled: monies, years of progress lost again.
"City Council members passed an ordinance that will prohibit any formal Council action to support or approve the addition of through lanes on Highway 1 without first obtaining majority voter approval. .... The ordinance states, 'Neither City Council nor other legislative bodies of the city shall take any formal action to support or authorize the construction and/or development of additional through-lanes on Highway 1 in the city of Pacifica, without first having obtained a majority voter approval of the city of Pacifica electorate authorizing such through-lanes.' .... 'It would be hypocritical of you not to want the vote right now,' Mayor Mike O’Neill said.   In addition to the ordinance, Keener requested a formal City Council resolution that addresses alternatives to highway widening and identifies areas for improvement along the highway. That resolution unanimously passed. 

.... Van Ocampo reached out to Caltrans and the SMCTA about the possibility of adding an overcrossing for bikes and pedestrians. Caltrans replied there was no state funding available for something like that; SMCTA told him to apply for the next round of grants for that purpose. He also approached the staff of City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG) who was interested in seeing if he could find a way to fund it. 'There’s no pedestrian part in the Caltrans highway widening,' Ocampo said.  .... ...  Mark Stechbart said, 'The Transportation Authority will probably take the money away. Let the taxpayers vote. Many alternatives are off the table'. Read article.

Reference, City Council meetings.  Fix Pacifica reprint agendas: Consideration item. City Council meeting 3/13/17, Item 11. Video from about 3:30 minutes.City Council meeting 3/13/17, Item 11.
Also see Consent Calendar item, City Council meeting, 3/27/17, Item 3: Note: City Council majority passed this item without approval of a second reading.
Reference, Approved Highway 1 widening project. Project researched, studied, funded by CalTrans, Highway 1 widening project.  NIMBY campaign against widening Highway 1, Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A). Home.

Note photograph from Kron 4/Kate Cagle, Vince Cestone, 8/10/15, "Caltrans facing tough questions after 'traffic disaster'...".

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wastewater treatment equalization basin moves forward

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop Staff Writer, 3/22/17. "Environment group loses basin appeal. Wastewater treatment equalization basin site approved despite opposition.
Image result for Equalization basin skateboard park, Pacifica, CA picture
You'll probably never see
the EQ underground bathtub.

Image result for Skatepark, Pacifica, CA picture
EQ basin will be under the
skateboard parking lot.
City Council upheld the planning commission’s decision to approve the location of the wastewater treatment department’s equalization basin despite a 21-point appeal and a lengthy public hearing last week. The vote was not unanimous, with Council Member Deirdre Martin voting against it to try and work out plans for an alternative location based on what the public speakers said at the appeal hearing.

The city is working to correct sewer spills due to overcapacity on the streets of Linda Mar. The work includes upgrading the pipes in the Linda Mar area, encouraging residents to get a new sewer lateral lines, and building this equalization basin to capture excess water and sewage during heavy storms.

If all these are not fixed by 2019, the city faces fines from the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Board. The city was sued in 2011 by a non-profit group, Our Children’s Earth, and the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board due to sewage spills hitting the ocean. A settlement was worked out in 2011 that includes the city making these improvements to the sewer system. ...."   Read more.

Reference, EQ basin approval, Planning Commission meeting, Monday, February 6, 2017, Public Hearings, Item 3, construct a 2.1 million gallon capacity equalization (EQ) basin. City Council meeting, Monday February 13, 2017, Item 4, Consent Calendar, Item 4, Freyer & Laureta, Inc. Engineering Design Services.  Related article.  Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, 2/16/17, Planning Commission approves sewer equalization basin. Storm overflow system to be built underneath parking lot adjacent to skateboard park."  Related Appeal, Fix Pacifica reprint article City Council meeting 3/13/17, Public Hearing, Item 10.   

Note photograph/graphic. Pacifica Skate Park from Best Skate Parks, 540 Crespi Drive. Underground equalization structure graphic image image to the engineering company, Freyer Laureta, Inc.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, March 27, 2017

Aircraft Noise Map

I know some people have been complaining about increased aircraft noise since the FAA rolled out its NextGen program, which rerouted a number of flights leaving SFO in order to save fuel and make airport operations more efficient. Some flights that used to fly over the north end of Pacifica to the ocean before turning south, now head south over the east side of Pacifica. That means less noise for those at the north end of town and in crab boats out on the water, but more noise for people under the new flight path.

I came across the website below that's meant to show which areas are most affected by aircraft noise. You can click on the image for a larger image, or click on the link below the picture to get to the National Transportation Noise Map website.

National Transportation Noise Map

It seems like it's gotten quieter at my house in East Sharp Park since the NextGen program started, and it would have been interesting to see how the above map compared to one from several years ago. I'm wondering if the maps are the result of actual measurements, or simply based on models that calculate what the noise should be at ground level, without taking into account factors like noise being reflected off of hills.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Saturday, March 25, 2017

City Council meeting, Monday March 27, 2017